Although Kwame Ture formerly known as Stokely Carmichael, was not the first to use the phrase “Black Power,” he made it famous. Critical of Martin Luther King Jr’s. peaceful approach, as chairperson of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s, Carmichael advanced a militant stand on civil rights.
A native of Trinidad, Carmichael moved with his family to a mostly white neighborhood in the Bronx, New York, when he was 11.
He graduated from Bronx High School of Science in 1960 and, four years later, from Howard University in Washington, D.C., with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.
In addition to studying philosophy, Carmichael became involved in civil rights protests during his years at Howard.
Speaking with Izzso Media this afternoon, Founder of the Kwame Ture Education Centre, David Muhammad said Toure’s life and work can be used towards enlightening the present generation of the Black Power Movement.
Muhammad said Kwame Toure’s legacy of work ought to be used as a pattern for communities throughout the country which experience police extrajudicial killings.
Ture participated in demonstrations staged by the Congress of Racial Equality, the Nonviolent Action Committee, and SNCC.
He was arrested as a Freedom Rider in 1961 and served seven weeks in Parchman Pe nitentiary for violating Mississippi’s segregation laws. Carmichael returned to the South after college and devoted himself to the organization of SNCC’s black voter registration project in Lowndes County, Alabama.
There, he also founded an independent political party called the Lowndes County Freedom Organization that used the black panther as its symbol.